Dear Grace Life,
I want to provide a Covid update, but let me first share with you Colossians 1:15-20, written by the Apostle Paul to the church of Colossae to encourage them to gaze and behold the supremacy of Christ.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
The Word of God is sufficient and timeless. Its solid truth is good for our souls today, even as Covid is furiously running through our community. This text is no different.
Just before this passage, Paul writes in verses 9-14 a prayer for “spiritual wisdom and understanding so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him”. He prays we will be “strengthened in the might of God” and that we will remember we are “delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”.
He continues by reminding us of the greatness of our King Jesus. There is no one like Him. There is no earthly king, president, or ruler who compares to Him. He is the one who saved us and He is the one who sustains us through all things because “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together”.
The Savior of the world, the Son of God is holding all things together. Your life is included in “all things”. The state of our community is included in “all things”. All of life is included in “all things”. All things are held together in His hands. This is the promise I want you to hold on to today and in the days to come.
JESUS IS HOLDING ALL THINGS IN HIS HANDS.
Like many of you, I thought we were on the other side of Covid, but, here we are again. This time we are seeing the impacts hit much closer to home. Many of you have now had Covid, and by God’s grace, have recovered. Many of you have lost a loved one or a very close friend. A few of you are working within the overworked and understaffed healthcare system and are tired of all things Covid. To all of us, remember, Jesus is holding all things together.
The life we live was never promised to be easy. We were called to abandon and crucify the desires of the world because it is Christ who lives in us. Paul says to another church in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
And while we face the next few weeks, let us rest in Jesus Christ and not in our frail humanity. We grieve in our loss (John 11:35) and we mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) and we hope in our future home secured by Jesus Christ. As 1 Peter 1:3-9 states,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Though we do not see Him, we believe in Him and hold to the promise that He is holding all things together for our good and for His glory. What a Savior!
As we continue to deal with Covid, let me provide an update on our church plan and procedures.
- We will continue worshiping in person and provide a live stream of our Sunday gatherings. We plan to go online only if there is a situation within our church that prevents us from gathering (i.e. Covid exposure among leadership team).
- PLEASE STAY HOME IF:
- You are sick in any way, even if it is minor.
- You have had close contact exposure to someone who has tested positive with Covid. (Close contact to COVID-19 occurs when you are within six feet of someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, for at least 15 minutes, or an infected person who shows no symptoms but later tests positive for the coronavirus. This is considered exposure regardless of whether one or both parties were wearing a mask.)
- You are feeling fine and have no symptoms but you are still within your 10 day isolation period due to testing positive or having a close contact.
- PRACTICE SAFE SUNDAYS:
- Practice Social distancing with those outside of your household.
- Wash and sanitize your hands.
- If possible, have conversation with others outside.
- Again, stay home if you are sick.
As a reminder, let’s practice grace and patience with one another, thinking the best of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Romans 14:1, Ephesians 4:31-32) and let’s continue to be an encouragement to one another in word and deed (Hebrews 10:24-25).
If you need assistance or know someone who needs assistance due to Covid, please let us know HERE.
If you would like to serve on the Grace Life Care Team by providing food and supplies or running errands for members of our church and families within our community, please sign up HERE. (We are also working with Lake Asbury Elementary School and we are prepared to serve teachers, staff, and families impacted by Covid).
If you would like to give towards our Covid Relief Fund, please give HERE. All donations go towards families in our community dealing with a Covid crisis.
If you need to schedule a call with Pastor Matt for counseling, prayer, or anything else, please go HERE.
I love you all and I am thankful for you. Be encouraged. Our God is faithful and it’s all in His hands.
By His Grace,